3 Month Check-up: Part 2

As promised, oh 6 days ago (we’ve been slacking), we have the 2nd installment of our 3 month check-up. Last week, we focused on the living room and the bedroom. These were the first two rooms we attacked immediately after our closing. We showed up to our closing with a carload of stuff. Embarrassing? No, not at all. 😉

This week, we’re bringing you a progress report on the dining room, kitchen and basement to round out our check-up. We’ll skip the bathroom because you pretty much know how that went down since it’s all we could talk about for the entire month of November (and parts of September/October). We’re skipping the office too because it’s not much of an office yet and not much has been done to this dump-everything-here-for-now room.

The Dining Room

We never had big plans for the dining room. In fact, we weren’t even going to paint it. We purchased our lovely china cabinet from IKEA and once we got it home, we did some impulse painting. Now we’ve decorated and re-arranged a few things to make this space a little more pleasing.

Here’s the dining room as pictured in the listing photo:

Dining room listing photoHere’s what we did:

  • Bought some IKEA shelving units that we fashioned into a “china cabinet.”
  • Painted the walls: Olympic One in Gray Beige
  • Added some lovely circle mirrors from Target
  • Bought an awesome piece of Bulldog art, also from Target

And here’s what the dining room looks like today (decorated for Christmas, of course)!

Dining room remodelDining room remodelThe Kitchen

Oh the kitchen…it went from being one of our least favorite rooms to being quite possibly one of our favorites. All thanks to a little paint, new flooring and some sweat equity.

Here’s the kitchen as pictured in the listing photos:

Kitchen listing photoHere’s what we did to it:

  • Had a dishwasher installed
  • Bought a new refrigerator because the old one gave us the creeps
  • Primed and painted the cabinets: 1-2-3 Prime + Valspar Interior paint in Du Jour
  • Purchased new cabinet hardware and re-affixed all of the base cabinet doors and drawers (we’re still working on the top half)
  • Installed a pantry closet with a little help from our friends at IKEA
  • Built a ridiculous (and ridiculously awesome) coffee station, courtesy of some IKEA furniture and an overabundance of Keurig gadgets and K-cups
  • Installed new flooring: Pergo Laminate in American Beech
  • Purchased and assembled a center kitchen island, complete with breakfast bar

Whew! Here’s what that looks like today:

Kitchen re-design, kitchen remodelKitchen re-design, kitchen remodelKitchen re-design, kitchen remodelThe Basement

The basement is a big work in progress, but so far, we’ve at least jump-started it into the future.

Here’s the basement as pictured in the listing photo:

Basement listing photoThis one’s deceiving because the before picture may almost look better than the after, but it’s the little details, people!

Here’s what we did to the dungeon:

  • Had the giant freezer hauled away (hiding in a nook next to the washer). Received a $50 energy credit from the State for it!
  • Had the oven hauled away by our friends at Hammertime Remodeling who offered to take it off our hands
  • Purchased new drop ceiling tiles. Sliced them up and started hanging them (this is still very much in progress)
  • Painted the basement stairwell after the old bathroom window overlooking the stairs was removed: Behr Paint and Primer in One in Fresh Day
  • Removed some ugly, sliding, faux wood doors from the storage shelving in the stairwell and painted them as well
  • Re-organized the storage shelves + added various hooks to store reusable grocery bags, recycled plastic bags, extension cords, etc.

    Basement remodel, home improvement

Basement stairwell, storage space

That just about wraps up our 3 month check-up. I think we’ve done a pretty good job, but we’ll let you be the judge. Let us know what you think. We’re also looking for suggestions for finishing our kitchen cabinets. We are having a helluva time cutting some Lexan (polycarbonate sheeting) for the cabinet doors and we’ve just about run out of ideas – help!

Our Kitchen Makeover Project

Now that the wedding and our vacation are behind us and we’re getting back to work on the house, we have really been working our arses off! We’ve spent a lot of time cleaning up the yard and working to re-do the drop ceiling in our basement (post about this coming soon!), but our biggest achievement to date is definitely our brand new kitchen! And now for the big reveal (if you haven’t already seen it on Twitter and Facebook)…

The old brown and yellow linoleum floor:

Old linoleum floorOld linoleum floorProgress…

Progress on kitchen floor makeover projectThe finished product before building the island:

Kitchen floor makeover projectAnd with the island:

New kitchen islandWe’re usually not braggers, but seriously, that is one hot kitchen! Sure the counter tops are still mismatched and we are still putting the finishing touches on floor base and thresholds, but what a HUGE difference this new floor and island have made!

We used Pergo laminate flooring that we purchased from Lowe’s. With the flooring itself, some threshold and other molding, along with the accessories needed for the floor installation, the entire bill for this project was under $550.00. We’re pretty psyched about the outcome. I’d say it came out looking even better than we thought! We were going to opt for flexible wall base (because that’s what was there previously and we really didn’t feel like removing the old adhesive), but we found a nice, inexpensive white molding that was the perfect size to cover up the yucky old adhesive gunk.

White floor base moldingWhite floor base molding under base cabinetsWe started with a few 8 foot pieces of the molding and used a jigsaw to cut the sizes we needed. With a little help from our friends at Lowe’s, we opted to use Liquid Nails to affix the molding to the tiles. We also got some white tub & tile caulk to run along the top of the molding. Since the tiles create an uneven surface and make it a little tricky for the molding to adhere properly, you end up with a few, albeit, small uneven gaps between the top of the molding and the wall. Thus, the white tub & tile fills these gaps and gives the finished product a nice, clean look.

As for the new addition to the kitchen furniture, you can see, our island layout plan really worked!
New kitchen islandWe got this Home Styles kitchen island from “EZBuyFurniture.com.” Yea – we were really hesitant about this one, but they really offered the best price and they had phenomenal reviews! It arrived very quickly and it was really easy to assemble. This island is really the heart of the kitchen. It’s what’s going to keep things functioning properly, because I think we almost doubled our storage space and counter space with this one (or at least it feels like it). Once we fully complete the floor base molding, we will be moving the refrigerator and pantry back into place. Then we will be able to put everything away, utilizing our new storage space. The counter space has already proven to be very helpful!

Needless to say, we’re clearly pretty proud of our latest achievement and our feelings toward the kitchen have taken a big turn for the better. It makes being in the kitchen so much more pleasant and this really rounds out the upstairs projects. Of course, we still have the bathroom remodel to worry about, but we’re handing that job over to the professionals. We will have a new bathroom before Thanksgiving! Merry Christmas to us!

We really cannot wait for everything to be complete. Of course, we will never be done working on the house, but finishing off the kitchen and bathroom projects will make the house feel brand new to us!

Lonely Island

Storage, storage, storage. I wouldn’t say that we’re hoarders or
anything, but we are always in need of more storage. I think we are in
need of more storage than our 1950s home can provide us. This is
especially true in our kitchen. Our kitchen is fairly large and open,
but with limited cabinet and storage space. To be fair, we lost some
space when we put the dishwasher in. We gained some more when we
installed our pantry and our coffee bar, but we are still left feeling
stranded. Like we are on an island or something. Or rather we are in
need of a kitchen island!

Kitchen island layoutWe’ve been pondering this option from day one. Now we’re finally
moving ahead with it. We’ve measured and taped out a spot on the floor
and have spent the last week trying not to bump into our imaginary
island.
Measuring for a kitchen islandWe selected and ordered an island online and have copied the
dimensions, including extending leaf with stools. As it turns out, it’s
not as big and space consuming as we thought it might be. Now while we
stumble around avoiding a taped off box on the floor, we’ll wait for
our real island.
Kitchen island floor planBefore the island becomes a permanent resident though, we’re going to be laying down new laminate (faux wood) flooring. We’re saying “see ya never” to this ugly brown/yellow crap. We’ll be starting the flooring project this weekend with the goal of finishing it before our Halloween party on Saturday the 29th! We’ll see how that goes! 😉 Stay tuned to our tweets and then look out for a blog post about it!